Venice Opera Guild Announces That It Is Disbanding

The Venice Opera Guild has announced today that it is disbanding.

March 18, 2008

Contact: Richard Russell, Director of Marketing
(941) 366-8450 x 245
Patricia Horwell, Communications Officer
(941) 366-8450 x 332

Venice, FL - The Venice Opera Guild has announced today that it is disbanding. The organization’s board was forced to take this action when no one emerged willing to take up the leadership of the organization. Because there were no viable candidates to fill any of the board positions, the Guild is forced to dissolve.

The Venice Opera Guild is an autonomous organization affiliated with Sarasota Opera. It was created in 1980 to lend financial support to Sarasota Opera, to support the Opera’s Youth Opera Program, and to bring Opera to South Sarasota County and Charlotte County.

A Sarasota Opera spokesperson commented that “Sarasota Opera regrets that the Venice Opera Guild was forced to take this action. The Guild has been a valuable member of the community for the past twenty years, but despite our best efforts to support it, it is no longer able to sustain itself. We hope that someday appropriate leadership will emerge and that the Guild will be able to reconstitute.”  They added that, “Sarasota Opera is committed to continue to bring opera to South County and will schedule outreach performances in the Venice area for the 2008-09 season.”

About the Sarasota Opera

Based in Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast, Sarasota Opera is in now in its 49th season. In 1958 the company began presenting chamber-sized repertoire in the historic 320 seat Asolo Theater on the grounds of Sarasota’s Ringling Museum of Art. Recognizing the need for a theater more conducive to opera, the company purchased the former A.B. Edwards Theater in downtown Sarasota in 1979. Renovations began in 1982 and the 1,033 seat theater, now on the National Register of Historic Places, opened in 1984 as the Sarasota Opera House. Since 1983 the company has been under the artistic leadership of Victor DeRenzi. Since then the company has garnered international attention with its Masterwork Revivals Series, which presents neglected works of artistic merit, as well as the Verdi Cycle producing the complete works of Giuseppe Verdi. Recognizing the importance of training, Maestro DeRenzi founded the Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist programs. Sarasota Opera also maintains a commitment to education through its OPERA-tion performances for local schools and the unique Sarasota Youth Opera program.

The Sarasota Opera House has just completed a multi-million dollar renovation and restoration. The project is designed to restore the historic 1926 theater to its original glory, while creating a venue for opera for the 21st century. Decorative details have been restored, seating has been replaced, and the orchestra pit enlarged to allow for an expansion of the repertoire. Backstage systems have been updated and public areas and amenities expanded and enhanced. The 2008 Opera Festival opened March 1 with Verdi's Rigoletto. The season, which will run through April 13, will also include Puccini's La rondine, Verdi's rarely-heard I due Foscari (The Two Foscari) and conclude with Mozart's Così fan tutte. Subscriptions and single tickets for the 2008 Opera Festival are now on sale at the box office at (941) 366-8450, ext. 1, 1-888-OPERA-12, or in person at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236. Tickets can also be purchased on line at